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The postnuptial agreement has not received nearly as much attention or credit as the prenuptial agreement. Although a prenuptial agreement is often a very valuable document, for couples whose circumstances have changed since a prenuptial agreement or for couples who did not create an initial prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can be a great option.

Not only does a postnuptial agreement help you sort out your expectations when your marriage is going through a rough patch, but it can also serve as a kind of alternative to a litigated divorce by letting you set the terms for your divorce in a negotiation well before you ever decide to file.

What to know during the creation of a postnuptial agreement

You can, in theory, put anything into a postnuptial agreement that you would like to guide you and your spouse as you would have to work through your marital issues. However, it’s important to understand that the courts will not enforce certain terms that violate state law, like a waiver of child support responsibility.

Focusing on complying with the law and with ensuring that both of you receive protection in the terms of the postnuptial agreement will increase its likelihood of being valid in the eyes of the family courts. Each of you should also have your own attorney representing you during the negotiation and signing of the document to ensure there is someone advocating for your best interests. Essentially, postnuptial agreements should comply with all the same standards as a prenuptial agreement.

While that can mean that its creation will involve substantial time and expense, a postnuptial agreement could help you save your marriage by clarifying the terms of a divorce and creating straightforward expectations for both spouses. In the event that you are unable to save your marriage, that same postnuptial agreement will allow for a faster, uncontested divorce.